) is a leader in the oncology market with several leading drugs
in its portfolio.
In particular, Roche is well placed in breast cancer market
fueled by its HER2 franchise. The HER2 franchise includes drugs
like Herceptin, Perjeta and Kadcyla.
Apart from HER2 franchise, Roche is also making efforts to
develop drugs for other indications.
The company recently received positive news when oncology drug
Avastin was approved for an additional indication - ovarian
cancer in Japan.
The approval was based on positive results from a phase III
study, GOG-0218. The study evaluated the efficacy and safety of
Avastin when administered in combination with
carboplatin/paclitaxel, a standard chemotherapy and thereafter as
The study met its primary endpoint and Avastin was able to
significantly prolong progression free survival in patients with
ovarian cancer as compared to those patients who received the
standard chemotherapy alone.
We remind investors that Avastin is already approved in Europe
and the U.S. for breast cancer, colorectal cancer, non-small cell
lung cancer, renal cell cancer and ovarian cancer.
We note that Avastin was one of the leading drugs for Roche in
the first nine months of 2013, up 19% year over year. The
increase in sales was due to the recent approvals including
ovarian cancer in Europe, colorectal cancer in the U.S. and
Europe, and the first approval for newly diagnosed glioblastoma
We are encouraged by Roche's efforts to expand Avastin's
label whcih should further boost sales.
Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Right now,
stocks that look attractive include
). While Shire carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Bayer
and Auxilium Pharma are Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stocks.
AUXILIUM PHARMA (AUXL): Free Stock Analysis
BAYER A G -ADR (BAYRY): Free Stock Analysis
ROCHE HLDG LTD (RHHBY): Get Free Report
SHIRE PLC-ADR (SHPG): Free Stock Analysis
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